Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Shoat disaster relief

On 3 May, I posted a blog entry describing a nocturnal massacre of sheep & goats (“shoats”) belonging to our askari, Stephen. Now I have to tell you about the amazing and wonderful thing that happened in response to that post. A number of readers of this blog were apparently moved by Stephen’s plight, and wanted to help him recover from this devastating loss. Then these kind people, some individually and some in groups, proceeded to donate funds to permit Stephen to buy shoats to rebuild his decimated flock. On 13 May, an old friend of mine, Dee White (shown at right having lunch in camp last week), arrived for a visit at fisi camp, and she brought with her roughly US $500.00 for Stephen, donated by Dee and several of her friends. We converted the dollars to Kenya shillings shortly after Dee arrived in Nairobi, and when she got to camp, she handed most of this cash directly to Stephen, who was, I believe, as shocked as he was pleased. He had clearly never expected to be able to replace so many of his lost animals. At my suggestion, Dee held back a little bit of the money she and her friends had donated, and we are using those funds to buy some cyclone fencing and other materials necessary to make Stephen’s shoat corral predator-proof so such carnage can’t happen again in future. Stephen can’t read or write to thank you all himself, so I’m doing that for him here. When Dee handed him that money, she showed him photos of all her friends back in the States who had contributed to the “shoat disaster relief fund.” Since then, Stephen has expressed his appreciation several different times in various ways, most immediately by inviting Dee to a goat roast at his manyatta (she gracefully declined), but also later asking me repeatedly to be sure to express his own appreciation for this generous gift, and the appreciation of his wives and children as well. So to Dee, Maggie, Judy, Carol, Mary Lou, Pook, Greg, Anne, and all the rest of you, “Asante sana!” from Stephen.

1 comment:

dwwhite99@aol.com said...

When I returned to work, the first thing my coworkers asked was, "how is Stephen?", not "how was your visit?" They really cared about what happened to him and his family, and were happy to offer help. I do feel the need to say that Stephen took EXCELLENT care of me while I was there. I believe I was the only one in camp to have an armed escort to the choo after dark, and when I dropped my flashlight outside my tent one night and yelped, he (and his panga) was at my side within seconds! Then he had to dash off to chase away an elephant he said was at "Mama Fisi's tent". Dee loses her flashlight, Kay has an elephant near her tent, Dee gets help first. I loved that!

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